Catching Up on 12 Germans in 2016


I’m a bit embarrassed that I’ve let my own reading challenge slip, but it is what it is. Thankfully, August is Women in Translation Month and my chance to catch up. So here’s the plan:

You will have my review of Jurek Becker’s Jacob the Liar at the end of July, and in August, I’ll review Alina Bronsky’s The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, Julia Franck’s The Blindness of the Heart, and Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina. That’ll put me back on track.

bronsky.pngAlina Bronsky was born in Russia. Her family moved to Germany in the early Nineties, where she first studied medicine and then worked as copywriter and editor. Her debut novel Scherbenpark (Broken Glass Park) was nominated for several literary prizes. Die Schärfsten Gerichte der Tatarischen Küche (The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine) was longlisted for the German Book Prize.

franckJulia Franck was born in 1970 in East Berlin, moving to a refugee camp in West Germany when she was 8 years old. She has worked as editor for and contributor to various newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 5 novels and a short story collection and the editor of one anthology. For her novel Die Mittagsfrau (The Blindness of the Heart), she won the German Book Prize in 2007. Check out this interview with Julia Franck on The Ledge.

bachmannIngeborg Bachmann was born in 1926 in Klagenfurt, Austria. After receiving her university degree, she worked for an Allied radio station, which published her first radio dramas. She became part of the legendary literary circle Gruppe 47. During her lifetime, she was mainly known for her poetry, but after her death in 1973, her prose work gained popularity, particularly among feminist readers. The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize is one of the most important awards for literature in the German language.



  1. Good luck with your reading, great challenge! 🙂 I really liked Scherbenpark, but have yet to read her second book, should get on that. Also, Mittagsfrau was great. Have you heard of the witnessed series by edition assemblage (the publisher)? It showcases Black writers from/in Germany and is edited by Sharon Dodua Otoo who incidentally just won the Bachmann award 🙂 Highly recommend it!

    • I heard that she won the Bachmann Prize, but haven’t been able yet to check out her winning story (hm, a hardboiled egg?) or the publisher. I will take a look at the witnessed series, thanks for telling me about it. (My mom is coming this weekend with a suitcase full of books for me… maybe if I hurry, I can get her to pack just one more.)

  2. Good to have you back, TJ. As I’ve read and reviewed both Bronsky and Franck in years past, I’ll be able to keep pace! Well, sort of. August is super busy for me, so I’ll catch up with Bachmann sometime in September.

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